An uncharacteristic game across the board left the Bruins chasing and and with their first home loss of the season Thursday by way of a 3-2 final against the Devils.
Tied with dueling donuts through a period of play, the Devils struck first behind a Kyle Palmieri run down broadway and through Jaroslav Halak for his first goal of the season, scored just 94 seconds into the middle frame. The goal came as a result of a rare miscue from the Bruins’ Jeremy Lauzon-Charlie McAvoy pairing, with both defenders converging on Jack Hughes before Hughes sprung the pass to Palmieri, who moved right in on Halak without any real pressure from behind.
Heck of a feed from Jack Hughes to set up Kyle Palmieri for the goal pic.twitter.com/naRfOFR9DJ— SB Nation NHL (@SBNationNHL) February 19, 2021
The tally ended a stretch of 112 minutes and 59 seconds without a goal surrendered by Halak.
Palmieri then pushed the Devils’ lead to two, this time at the 10:39 mark of the frame, and on a shorthanded look that came without a Bruin in sight. That tally made it two straight games with a shorthanded goal against for the B’s, which is something that had not happened since Mar. 2019.
The Bruins would finally respond, however, thanks to a power-play gift handed to Jake DeBrusk. An unassisted strike, the goal was DeBrusk’s first of the season (DeBrusk entered this contest 0-for-20 on his shots on goal this season), and not a moment too soon, as he celebration indicated.
At long last, Jake DeBrusk has his first goal of the season. pic.twitter.com/XTWk2snIHn— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) February 19, 2021
But the Devils quickly jumped back in front by two 3:01 later, this time on some four-on-four wizardry from a spinning Pavel Zacha en route to his fourth goal of the season.
In a two-goal hole through 40 minutes of play, it was hard to find anything that went right for the Bruins. Still without Matt Grzelcyk, and with Jakub Zboril added to the shelf with an upper-body injury, the Bruins’ defense struggled to generate much of anything on their breakout, and the team’s defensive-zone coverage was full of lapses, half-measure clears, and miscommunications.
Things failed to get any easier in the third period, either, with the Bruins held off the scoresheet until they held a 6-on-4 advantage with just 1:04 remaining in regulation.
The Devils’ MacKenzie Blackwood, who finished with 25 saves for the victory, and is now 2-0-1 with a .946 save percentage against the Bruins this season.
Halak, meanwhile, finished with 23 saves for his first regulation loss of the season.
And in a night of bad news, the Bruins were dealt some more with second-line center David Krejci missing the second half of this contest due to an apparent lower-body injury.
The Bruins will now pack their bags and head to Lake Tahoe for an outdoor head-to-head, with the game moved up an hour due to weather concerns, with the Flyers.